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  • Author: Steven Blockmans
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Concerns about the deterioration of democracy in Turkey are not new: the trials over the 2003 „ Sledgehammer ‟ alleged coup plan (2010-12) and over the ‟ Ergenekon ‟ secret organisation (2008-13) broke the military‟s influence over politics, but were widely criticised because of their reliance on secret witnesses and disputes over evidence. Ironically, their outcome has recently been challenged by Prime Minister Erdoğan himself, who has disowned the trials now that the judiciary has the AK Party in its sights. International concern was also stirred by the violent crackdown on the countrywide protests of May/June 2013. Unrest then was triggered by the planned redevelopment of Istanbul‟s Gezi Park in May 2013, but developed into a wider movement critical of government corruption, increasing restrictions on freedom of speech and concerns about the erosion of secularism. Protests simmered on through September, winding down in autumn and winter only to reignite in March of this year.
  • Topic: Government, International Cooperation, Politics, Regional Cooperation, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: John O'Brennan
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The rejection of the Lisbon Treaty by the electorate on 12 June 2008 has presented the Irish government with the most serious crisis in external relations since the Second World War. This was the third such referendum on Europe held in Ireland since the millennium and the second plebiscite in three to result in a rejection of an EU Treaty following the failed Nice poll in 2001. There is no obvious solution to the dilemma the government faces and no obvious pathway to achieve ratification. There is however a clear consensus amongst the political parties that ratification constitutes both a clear political priority and a fundamental national interest. At the October European Council summit in Brussels, Taoiseach Brian Cowen promised to come back to the December meeting “with a view to our defining together the elements of a solution and a common path to follow”. But the external context is now clear – EU leaders indicated an unwillingness to re-negotiate any part of the Treaty: it will be up to Ireland to find an Irish solution to this European problem. Thus the opportunity cost of the No vote has become somewhat clearer: Ireland faces marginalisation and isolation in Europe if a solution to the Lisbon dilemma is not found. The domestic context is also somewhat clearer now that we have access to extensive data that sheds light on the reasons for the No vote in the 12 June poll. In assessing the options for ratification this paper draws upon that data, presented in among other sources, the post-referendum Eurobarometer survey and the government-commissioned Millward Brown IMS research findings.
  • Topic: Government, International Organization, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon, Ireland
  • Author: Beata Huska
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In May 2001, the 17-month insurgency of Albanians in Southern Serbia came to an end. In the Konculj Agreement, Albanians agreed to disarm and disband the Liberation Army of Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac (UCPMB) in exchange for the promise of amnesty for their fighters, the return of refugees, the creation of a multi-ethnic police force and the integration of Albanians into public institutions. After decades of official discrimination and exclusion from state institutions, the adoption of the Covic Plan, which foresaw the goals mentioned above, provided an opportunity to respond to Albanian grievances and win loyalty of the Albanian minority to the Serbian state. The plan drawn up by Nebojsa Covic, Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia in 2001, contained clear goals with deadlines, including “the integration of Albanians into the political, government and social system”, meaning into the police, judiciary, health services, education, municipal institutions, economy, etc. in proportion to their numbers.
  • Topic: Demographics, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Serbia, Albania
  • Author: Ángel Ubide
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Following a long period of stagnation, Japan is growing again. The key to this success story is Koizumi's relentless focus on structural reform, with two objectives: breaking the structural trap of political constituencies defending old and unproductive economic sectors; and adopting a two-pronged macromicro approach to make reform unavoidable. This paper argues that Europe should follow a similar strategy whereby financial market integration, and not the EU bureaucracy and grandiose political declarations, should become the main driving force of national economic reforms, pressuring liberalisation in goods and services markets and making labour market reforms unavoidable.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Japan, Europe
  • Author: Sebastian Kurpas, Justus Schönlau
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The assertion that the enlarged EU will become dysfunctional under the current treaty provisions has been one of the strongest arguments in favour of the Constitutional Treaty. Also after the two 'no' votes to the text, political leaders continue to see the necessity of institutional reform. Jacques Chirac and Tony Blair, neither of whom is keen to resume the ratification process as such, have stressed independently that the issue needs to be addressed in the near future. The British Prime Minister argues that the EU cannot function properly with 25 member states under today's rules of governance, adding "Having spent six months as EU president, I am a good witness of that." His French counterpart even predicted that the status quo would eventually "condemn the EU to inertia and paralysis."
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Rym Ayadi
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Following seven years of painstaking and demanding negotiations, European bankers and regulators breathed a sigh of relief when the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD) finally got through the European Parliament on 28 September 2005, and was formally approved by the Council of Ministers of the 25 EU member states on 11 October 2005. The new CRD will finally apply the complex, risk-sensitive Basel II capital adequacy rules to some 8,000 European banks and some 2,000 investments firms in two stages, the first in January 2007 and the second one year later.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Rym Ayadi
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: After almost seven years of hard work to produce a new substantive piece of legislation updating the current banking regulation for European credit institutions and investment firms – the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD) – it looks like its timely adoption is still uncertain. The main problem is the dissatisfaction of Parliament with its limited role in comitology and in the Lamfalussy process, which has led it to suspend 'temporarily' the comitology provisions of the CRD, casting doubt over the future ability to amend the legislation. The European Constitution addresses Parliament's concern about ensuring democratic accountability in the comitology process in Art. 36. The pause for reflection on the Constitution prompted by the no-votes in the French and Dutch referenda has re-ignited the issue and is forcing EU institutions to seek a new inter-institutional agreement on this issue.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: It so happens that the epicentre of the EU's referenda earthquake – by way of its external impact – has now been located exactly in the middle of the Black Sea. Paradoxically, this comes at the same time that the region has begun to show signs of possibly getting a grip on itself.
  • Topic: Government, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Bulgaria, Romania
  • Author: Emad El-Din Shahin
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The movement for democratic reform in Egypt seems to be gathering strength. Some of the factors that would make a good case for democratic transformation are rapidly converging: the formation of a wide spectrum of discontented segments in society; the mushrooming of pro-reform grass-roots movements that agree on a clear list of short-term demands; and a sympathetic pro-reform international context. With presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled to take place in September and November respectively, will Egypt finally experience its democratic spring? The answer to this question still seems uncertain. The reform movement faces numerous challenges: the possibility of being sidelined by an agreement between the regime and external actors for the sake of stability and containing change; regime repression of the reform movement; and the radicalisation of the movement itself and the possible eruption of sporadic violence or chaos. For reform to become a reality and not another missed opportunity, certain structural changes and institutional safeguards must be introduced.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Sebastian Kurpas
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: After the resounding Dutch no-vote of 62%, ratification of the Constitutional Treaty has become even less likely than it already was after the political earthquake caused by the French referendum three days before. While the German Chancellor and the French President encourage other countries to continue with the ratification process, the British message is clear: Any attempt to proceed at this point would be pointless. British Foreign Minister Jack Straw found rather subtle words in the House of Commons to describe the situation, but other sources suggest that instead of wasting their time on a lengthy and useless exercise that would cost the EU even more support, European leaders should bury the Constitution at the upcoming European Summit on 16-17 June (or soon afterwards) and then settle for something 'more modest'.
  • Topic: Government, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, France
  • Author: Mark C. Christie
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: While integration in Europe is, in several important aspects, already more advanced than it was in America during the decades prior to the American Civil War, there are important differences that make deeper political integration comprising all members of the European Union unlikely in the near term. A smaller group of EU members, however, is likely to continue towards deeper integration, although questions of constitutional legitimacy must be confronted and resolved. European integrationists may find the federalist principles of James Madison, regarded as the father of the American Constitution, valuable both for deeper integration and wider expansion. A Madisonian federal model for Europe could prove acceptable both to many euro-federalists and euro-sceptics and thus advance the cause of European integration. Ironically, a European federal union based on Madisonian principles would be much closer to the vision of many of America's founders than the federal structure of present-day America.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Sebastian Kurpas
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The pressure is on for the defenders of the European Constitution. Although initially it seemed as if referenda would only be problematic in countries that have a reputation for a certain degree of Euroscepticism, now even France and the Netherlands look like unsafe candidates for public approval. While there is still a fair chance that a majority of the French will vote 'yes' when actually at the ballot box, there is an understandable nervousness among prointegrationists. A French 'no' would be the most serious obstacle that any one member state among those holding a referendum could create. In the likely case that other member states besides France then reject the text – possibly for entirely different or even opposing reasons – it would become extremely difficult to 'save' the Constitution in its entirety.
  • Topic: Government, International Organization, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Richard Baldwin, Mika Widgren
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The ongoing Intergovernmental Conference (IGC 2003) must re-shape Giscard d'Estaing's draft into a Constitutional Treaty that can be signed and subsequently ratified by all 25 members of the enlarged European Union.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Karel Lannoo, Arman Khachaturyan
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This Policy Brief criticis es the European Commission's proposal to mandate compliance with a local corporate governance code and to set minimum criteria for these codes. It argues that the European Commission missed an opportunity to set a European corporate governance code in the mid -1990s, and that much of the proposals are simply reactive to events and new legislation in the US. Europe should have highlighted the strength of its diversity, and emphasised that the basic elements of corporate governance are better controlled in the EU than t hey are in the US, rather than embarking on a complex harmonisation exercise.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Richard Baldwin, Mika Widgren
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The EU's draft Constitutional Treaty proposes the most radical reform of EU institutions ever put forward - more radical than those in the Single European Act, the Maastricht and Nice Treaties combined. Many of the changes have been debated, but little notice has been paid to what is perhaps the most critical reform: the change in the EU's decision-making procedures.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Thomas L. Brewer
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper is based on an analysis of the results of more than 40 public opinion surveys taken during the period from 1989 through 2002; special attention is given to surveys taken during 2000-02. The analysis concludes that approximately two-fifths of the public are seriously concerned about global warming. Another two-fifths are moderately concerned; shifts in the opinions of this moderately concerned group would likely alter the future course of government policies. The other one-fifth of the public does not consider global warming much of a problem, does not worry about it very much or not at all, and does not believe that carbon dioxide emissions are a cause of it. A substantial majority of the US public wants the government to do something about the problem of global warming, and they would like the US to participate in the Kyoto Protocol. Most respondents prefer mandatory rather than voluntary emission reductions by industry. A majority of the public supports US economic assistance to fund mitigation projects in developing countries. Gaps between the US public and US leaders are evident, with the public exhibiting more concern and more support for new policies. The level of US public concern is nearly as high as it is among European publics, where there is also opposition to current US policy.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Marc Houben, Dirk Peters
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Multinational military formations exist in many forms, shapes and colours. Their size varies; their raison d'être varies; the type of military units involved varies; and the countries involved vary. In most cases governments take into consideration the economic, militarytechnical and operational arguments for participation in a multinational formation. They participate because it will save them money for example, or it enables them to maintain a critical capability, such as F-16 fighter planes. States thus usually take care to shape the units in a way that contributions complement each in technical terms and that the whole unit pays off in economic terms. Not often, however, is the compatibility of the political systems of the participating countries taken into account when a multinational unit is formed. Our contention is that more attention should be paid to the political/institutional compatibility of participating states when creating multinational units. Some political systems are more compatible than others and this fact has consequences for the effectiveness of jointly owned multinational units.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Three years ago, after the Kosovo war and the launch of the Stability Pact for South East Europe, there was a spasm of interest in the idea of a stability pact for the Caucasus. However nothing came of this, since neither the region's leaders nor the international community were willing or able to do anything of substance, although a comprehensive proposal had been published by CEPS as a 'track 2' initiative. As a result, the de facto secessions of Abkhazia and Nagorno Karabakh have become more deeply entrenched, but only with the protection of Russia and Armenia, respectively, with which these entities have become increasingly integrated de facto. Since conventional diplomacy in the Caucasus under UN or OSCE auspices has failed to deliver solutions over a whole decade, we take a wider look here at the kind of solutions that may emerge for these so-called frozen conflicts of the European periphery. New developments external to the region are coming from the EU and the US: the widening of the Europeanisation process on the one hand, and the 'democratic imperialism' or Pax Americana coming out of Washington since 11 September 2001 and now the Iraq war. We explore below how these developments may affect the prospects for the Caucasus.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Eric Philippart
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Policy development in the EU is often impeded by member states being either unwilling or unable to participate. One way to overcome that problem is to resort to flexible approaches accommodating diversity. Convinced that an enlarged Union would require more flexibility, the current member states agreed in 1997 to introduce a new safety valve in the treaties, named 'enhanced cooperation'. Thanks to that mechanism, a group of member states may be authorised to use the EU framework to further their cooperation or integration in policy areas under EU competence whenever it appears impossible to do so with all of the member states.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: It is widely accepted that enlargement requires reform of the highest decision-making bodies of the European Central Bank (ECB). In particular, there are concerns that the Governing Council, which is composed of the six-member Executive Board of the ECB plus the governors of the participating national central banks (NCBs), will grow too large to work efficiently. In the absence of reform, it could end up having over 30 members - resembling more a mini-parliament than a decision-making body that has to manage a global currency in fast-moving financial markets. Moreover, the accession of a number of small countries is often perceived as a threat to the "power balance" in the Governing Council.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Gráinne De Búrca, Jonathan Zeitlin
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Within the Convention process, the final reports of no less than four separate working groups - those on Simplification, Complementary Competences, Economic Governance and Social Europe - have come out in favour of including the 'Open Method of Coordination' (OMC) within the Constitutional Treaty. The relevant sections of these reports are attached in an annex.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: There is an urgent need to link the excessive deficit procedure with the issue of sustainability and hence the evolution of public debt. This note shows that there exists a simple way to introduce the evolution of public debt in the Stability Pact, which so far has focused exclusively on deficits. The link starts from the Maastricht criterion for participation in EMU concerning public debt and its reference value of 60% of GDP. The Maastricht criterion on public debt stipulates that if public debt exceeds 60% of GDP, it must be 'sufficiently diminishing and approaching the reference value at a satisfactory pace''.This note provides a numerical rule for evaluating whether public debt is indeed diminishing 'at a satisfactory pace'. This numerical rule is in accordance with the reference values in the Treaty and could be used as the basis for an 'excessive debt procedure'.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Anand Menon
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The following report discusses ways of enhancing the EU's effectiveness and impact as an international actor in the light of debates currently taking place within the Convention. Its central recommendations can be briefly summarised: Clarify and discard the more extreme variants of arguments pressing for a significant EU military capability. . Create a Commissioner for External Affairs to whom other Commissioners responsible for discreet aspects of this portfolio would report. . Recreate the Political Committee, composed of Political Directors. Create a Council of Defence Ministers. Reinforce the role of the High Representative in several ways: increase the financial resources at his/her disposal; allow him/her to chair the COPS. Create an EU Security Council comprising the HR, the Secretary General of t the Council, the Commissioner for External Relations, the Presidency (in order to ensure coherence with EU internal action), the chief of the EU military staff and senior representatives from the troika.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Thomas L. Brewer
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Questions about the interface between the multilateral climate regime embodied in the Kyoto Protocol and the multilateral trade regime embodied in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have become especially timely since the fall of 2001. At that time, ministerial-level meetings in Marrakech and Doha agreed to advance the agendas, respectively, for the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol and for negotiations on further agreements at the WTO. There have been concerns that each of these multilateral arrangements could constrain the effectiveness of the other, and these concerns will become more salient with the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol. There are questions about whether and how the rights and obligations of the members of the WTO and the parties to the Protocol may conflict. Of particular concern is members of the WTO and the parties to the Protocol may conflict. Of particular concern is whether provisions in the Protocol, as well as government policies and business activities undertaken in keeping with those provisions, may conflict with the WTO non-discrimination principles of national treatment and most-favoured nation treatment.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The 'Wider Europe' may, and certainly should, become one of the big next issues on the policy agenda of the European Union following the enlargement decisions to be taken in Copenhagen in December. Indeed the practical concerns raised by the forthcoming enlargement for the EU's periphery to the North, East and South are already crowding in. A new vocabulary is sprouting up in Brussels, call it as you wish: 'Wider Europe', or 'Proximity Policy', or 'Neighbourhood Policy'. What is certain is that the Wider Europe will not go away.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Joanna Apap, Malcolm Anderson
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: From the initiation of the debate about Europol in the late 1980s, some law enforcement agencies and political thinkers developed a concept of security that links together broad categories of activities: terrorism, drug trafficking, organised crime, transborder crime, illegal immigration, asylum seekers, and minority ethnic groups. This conception represents a variety of very different problems as elements of one general security threat. In addition, there has been a blurring of the distinction between internal and external security, as the threat of a conventional military attack on Western Europe has declined. This idea has been sharply criticised, by those such as Didier Bigo, (who has labelled this concept a security continuum,)1 for linking very different activities, profiling of groups and criminalising illegal immigrants. It is also objectionable on grounds that it categorises difficult problems as security threats too quickly and too emphatically. A crucial element in the merging of internal and external security has been the re-classification of undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers as problems of security. But the linkage between security fields lies at the core of the redefinition of the West European security following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Integration of the tasks and functions of police services, immigration services, customs and intelligence services, is sustained by the gradual re-shaping of the security continuum under the pressure of events, such as, most dramatically, the terrorist attacks of September 2001.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael Emerson, Bruno Coppieters
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: At a meeting in Kiev on 1-3 July 2002, the mediators for the Moldovan- Transdniestria conflict proposed, at the initiative of the OSCE, a draft agreement on the constitutional system that would regulate the distribution of competencies between Chisinau and Tiraspol. This draft agreement defines the Republic of Moldova as a “federal state”. The implementation of the agreement would be monitored and ultimately guaranteed by the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the OSCE.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sylvia Ostry
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Over the decade of the 1990s, the deepening integration of the global economy accelerated as trade, financial flows, and foreign direct investment were liberalised. This deepening integration is, in part, a "natural" phenomenon, fed and now led by technological changes in information, communication and transport and is driving in the direction of a single global market. But, of course, governments have played an important role and international economic policy has facilitated - or perhaps even catalysed - the momentum. And the "natural" and "policy" forces are interrelated in a complex fashion that reflects the nature of the policy process . This process differs in different policy domains - for example trade versus financial or development policy. Yet it's important to underline that trade policy has indeed played a major catalytic role in fostering global integration.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jaba Devdariani, Blanka Hancilova
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The Georgian government fails to exercise effective control over parts of its territory. In the last decade, Georgian statehood has been threatened by a civil war and secessionist conflicts. Its government has failed to reform its armed forces and has lost control over the Pankisi Gorge, a sparsely populated patch of the Caucasus Mountains on the border to Chechnya. Some hundreds Chechen fighters including several dozen Islamic extremists connected to the al-Qaeda network are believed to be hiding in that area. After the attacks on the United States on 11 September, the risks posed by failing states in the propagation of international terrorist networks are being taken more seriously into consideration. 2 The US decision to send up to 200 special operation forces to Georgia in March 2002, in order to train Georgian forces to regain control over the Pankisi Gorge, proceeds from this logic.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Johan F.M. Swinnen
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) accounts for 45% of the total EU budget. Will its extension to Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) break the EU budget? The 10 CEECs currently negotiating for membership would increase the number of farmers by 120% and would increase the area under cultivation by 42%. It is thus widely expected that enlargement will dramatically increase the cost of the CAP.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Karel Lannoo
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The EU's financial sector has been undergoing an almost continuous wave of de- or reregulation since the late 1980s. The Single Market programme with minimal harmonisation and home country control was implemented in successive periods for banking, insurance and the securities markets. By the end of the 1990s, however, under the impact of EMU, it was clear that this was not sufficient, and a Financial Services Action Programme set a schedule for the adoption of 42 directives to create a truly integrated financial market by 2005. Moreover, a Committee of Wise Men under the chairmanship of Alexandre Lamfalussy made proposals to ease the adaptation of EU financial regulations to market developments.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The three years since the start of EMU have been characterised by an extraordinary degree of volatility in global financial and other markets (oil, etc.). Most official comments have so far focused on the fact that Europe has remained an 'island of stability'. But this self congratulatory tone cannot mask the fact that EU institutions have generally not been in the forefront of the efforts to stabilise the global economy. This is partly understandable as most of the volatility originated outside the EU. But just 'putting one's own house in order' does not seem to be sufficient when global economic (or political) stability is at stake, as recent events amply demonstrate.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Gabriela Martin Thornton
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, quickly followed by German reunification, scholars of the European Union have emphasised that one of the most salient consequences of these events would be the enlargement of the European Union. Many have claimed that enlargement would mean galvanising the German power within the European Union, by placing Germany at the geographical heart of Europe. Enlargement was perceived either as undermining the Franco-German relationship, or even more, as replacing it by increased German connections with Eastern European countries (Braun, 1996, p. 158). The IGC in Nice struggled to reform the EU institutions in order to accommodate future members. The Treaty of Nice has generated fear within certain Western circles. Some political analysts already announced the end of Jean Monnet's “Europe”, the triumph of Germany, and with the future inclusion of Central and East European countries (CEECs), the birth of a “Europe” less “European”. Since Nice, a sea of metaphors has sparkled over the Western European newspapers with regard to “the return to Europe” of the CEECs. Nonetheless, many scholars seem to agree with Stanley Hoffman who points out that the expansion toward the east is seen as necessary in order “to provide stability in the more troublesome part of the continent and in order to protect fledgling democracy there.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, Berlin
  • Author: Judit Tóth
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: When one considers the substance of European Union (EU) official documents in a simplified way, national and ethnical minorities may appear in three contexts. The first belongs to external relations (common foreign and security policy), which cover minorities as a matter of human rights in third countries. These documents call upon the (third) countries concerned to respect human rights and international and European standards on minorities' rights that are also endorsed by the EU. In this regard, the legislation being developed in view of a common European migration policy contains provisions about the respect of minority rights in order to prevent further migration waves.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Hungary
  • Author: Péter Kovács
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The subject of this paper is undoubtedly of paramount importance for a number of Central and East European countries. The image of a “Schengen Fortress” in statu nascendi is disappointing even for those who are enthusiastic about the accession of their countries to a unified Europe. There is a widespread fear – rational or not – that cross-border human contacts and travel possibilities from East to West will become more difficult than they were in the years following the fall of the Berlin Wall. The same feeling can be detected even in the Balkans, where certain countries also show symptoms of the “Schengen Fortress”.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Balkans
  • Author: Olga Potemkina
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Does Russia need international cooperation? This question may seem rhetorical, to which one would give a positive response, but the findings of a public opinion survey conducted by the independent Russian research organisation ROMIR clearly suggest otherwise. In April 2001, a total of 1,500 Russians were polled in 160 locations in 94 villages, towns and cities, in 40 regions, territories and republics of the Russian Federation. The questions asked concerned several key aspects of EU-Russian relations and the need for increased cooperation with international organisations.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Yuri Borko
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Strictly speaking, there are two groups of problems related to this topic. Firstly, there are some particular issues arising from the enlargement process; namely the movement of goods and people between Kaliningrad and the rest of Russia, including visa regime, energy supply of the region, trans-border cooperation and fisheries. To solve these problems or not to solve them is like Hamlet's dilemma “to be or not to be”. These problems have to be solved by the Union and Russia, with the participation, at least jointly, of Poland and Lithuania.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Poland, Lithuania
  • Author: Ferruccio Pastore
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In order to understand the Italian perspective – or rather the Italian perspectives – on the shift eastward of EU external borders, it is useful, if not necessary, to anticipate briefly a few schematic concepts about the meaning of borders in Italian history. This will enable us to achieve a better understanding of current Italian attitudes in the European debate on border management issues in the framework of the enlargement process. But a rapid overview on the recent transformation of the nature and function of borders in the Italian case will also allow us to draw some tentative lessons for the ongoing enlargement process in the field of Justice and Home Affairs.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Moritz Meier-Ewert
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In January 2001, the Basel Committee for Banking Supervision (BCBS) presented its latest proposals for a revised Capital Adequacy Accord. The aim of this revision is to address some of the perceived shortcomings of the 1988 Accord, which is currently being applied. These new proposals include a number of important improvements, but unfortunately there is a serious risk that in some areas they are overshooting their target. As a result they could have adverse consequences not only for the structure of the banking industry, but also for developing countries and for systemic stability. Indeed, if implemented in its current form, the Accord could lead to a serious round of consolidation in the banking sector resulting in the domination of the market by a handful of internationally active banks, widen the amplitudes of business cycles as well as increase the frequency of financial crisis through enhanced procyclicality, and effectively cut off a number of developing country borrowers from bank-finance.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Eric Philippart
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In December 2000, the Heads of State or Government reckoned that once the institutional changes proposed in the Treaty of Nice were ratified, the Union would be ready for the accession of new member states. Acknowledging that the post-Nice design was certainly not optimal, they also agreed in a Declaration annexed to the Treaty to convene an Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) in 2004. It stipulated that Treaty changes would only be decided after two intermediary phases aimed at deepening and widening the debate on the future of the European Union: an 'open reflection' phase encouraging wide-ranging exchanges of views in multiple national and European fora, to be followed by a phase of 'structured reflection' scheduled for 2002-3. The format of the second phase was to be defined during the European Council bringing the Belgian Presidency to a close. On 15 December 2001, the Laeken 'Declaration on the Future of the European Union' was indeed adopted. No less than 56 substantive questions were proposed as a starting point for the debate to be conducted by an ad hoc structure made of a Convention flanked by a Forum. The Declaration not only defined the mandate and the institutional contours of the new structure, it also provided a number of indications on how it should proceed in terms of deliberation, drafting and decision-making.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Joanna Apap
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The judgment in the case of Conka v. Belgium of 5 February 2002 by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg whereby Belgium was founded guilty of infringing the European Convention on Human Rights, has much wider implications than one might think on a first reading.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Belgium
  • Author: Guido Tabellini
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: How should tasks be divided between the EU and its member states? And what institutional reforms are needed to insure that these tasks (but only these tasks) are efficiently performed by the EU? This is the main problem to be addressed at the upcoming European Convention. This paper argues that EU tasks in the first pillar should not be expanded further, though some changes in the direction of both more and less intervention are desirable. The single market remains to be better enforced, and this might require further centralization of tasks. On the other hand, EU meddling with redistribution should be scaled back; this would imply reforming and reducing EU intervention in agricultural policy, structural funds and the social charter. In other words, EU intervention in the first pillar should mainly aim at making sure that the single market works as effectively as possible, and at fostering competition between EU member states. Redistribution should remain a national prerogative. EU tasks should instead be expanded outside of the first pillar, namely in foreign and defense policies, in internal security and immigration. The paper ends with a discussion of what institutional reforms might be needed to accompany this allocation of tasks and increase accountability of EU decisions. Appropriate reforms should keep in mind the distinction between "bureaucratic accountability" (i.e. the control of appointed bureaucrats with a narrowly defined mission) and "democratic accountability" (i.e., the control of elected politicians with an open mandate). The former type of accountability is the most relevant in Europe today, given the lack of a true and complete European polity, and this has relevant implications for task allocation and institutional reforms.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Health, and not wealth, should be the decisive criterion when considering the prospects of the Central and Eastern European candidates for EU membership and the capacity of the EU to enlarge. Viewed from this perspective, the outlook is promising. The CEECs are still very poor, compared to most of the existing EU members, but they are also much more dynamic. Their growth rates are generally expected to remain around 4-5% for the foreseeable future, compared to about 2-3% for the EU. This still implies that full catch-up in terms of GDP per capita will take decades, rather than years, but full catch-up is not the relevant goal if one is concerned about enlargement. Experience in the EU has shown that problems are much more likely to arise from established rich member countries with stagnant economies (Belgium in the 1980s and part of the 1990s) than poor, but more dynamic states (e.g. Portugal and Ireland today). The fact that most of the so-called 'periphery' is now experiencing stronger growth than the 'core' confirms that EU integration benefits poorer countries even more.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Belgium, Portugal, Ireland
  • Author: Jorge Nuñez Ferrer
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The Berlin Summit has been concluded with the suspicious outcome in which every Head of State declares victory. The tone is not so victorious by the Presidency, however, which honestly declared that Germany didn't “win the lottery”. There is reason for suspicion if, after long and arduous discussions to reform policies and reduce EU expenditure, member states declare satisfaction at the result. Something must be amiss, if painful reforms appear not to hurt. In fact, after preliminary calculations and some political considerations, there are grounds to suspect that the reforms proposed are less than satisfactory.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, Berlin
  • Author: Karel Lannoo
  • Publication Date: 05-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The agreement reached in the Council of EU Finance Ministers (Ecofin) on 1 December 1997 on taxation policy can be considered as a landmark in EU direct tax harmonisation. The Council agreed on a package of measures to combat harmful tax competition in the EU, including a code of conduct on corporate taxation and elements which should enable the Commission to draft a new proposal for a directive on the taxation of income from savings. The Council invited the Taxation Policy Group to continue its work and instituted a Review Group to assess harmful tax competition. The first and, until now, last EU measures in the area of direct taxation date back to 1990. These abolished double taxation between enterprises of the same group.
  • Topic: Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe